Sharks Lose 2-1 to Hurricanes; Sharks drop fourth game out of last five

Carolina Hurricanes’ Seth Jarvis (24) attempts to poke the puck past San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) with Sharks’ Jaycob Megna (24) and Brent Burns (88) at PNC in Carolina on Sun Jan 30, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 2-1 in a nailbiter against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Vincent Trocheck and Andrei Svechnikov scored for Carolina. Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers scored for the Sharks and James Reimer made 27 saves in the loss.

Both teams were playing back-to-back games, though the Sharks had to travel as well. The Sharks were also asking their goaltender to play back-to-back games, as Adin Hill is out with an injury. This put added pressure on the Sharks defense. Of their performance, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “I thought all our D had a decent game back there. I think, you know, we were more physical tonight. We could’ve had better puck movement back there but they’re a pinching team hard all over the ice and that doesn’t give you a lot of options coming around that net.”

Of playing back-to-back games, Sharks goaltender James Reimer said: “Obviously, playing back-to-back is tough with travel and a short schedule. But that’s why you train all summer, so you can be ready for this and the training staff did a great job doing what they could to put humpty dumpty back together again and get ready to play tonight.”

The Sharks will face the Tampa Bay Lightning next, the team that beat them 7-1 in the game before this road trip started. It will be the Sharks’ last game before the All-Star break. Of the upcoming match, Sharks forward Andrew Cogliano said:

“I think we owe it to ourselves to finish this road trip the right way. We played hard, [Reimer] played back to back games, you don’t see that often. We got two of our best defensemen out, guys that played very hard back there and come in, you know, special teams has been good. I think we’re just at a point where you got to lay it on the line in terms of playing our best game against a really good team and then the break will be good for our team I think.”

The game against the Hurricanes was the opposite of Saturday’s high-scoring meet in Florida. The goals came few and far between Sunday.

Vincent Trocheck gave Carolina the early lead with a goal at 4:36 of the first period. Skating into the zone 1-on-3, Trocheck took the shot from just inside the blue line and beat Reimer on the glove side. Assists went to Ian Cole and Ethan Bear.

The Sharks held a slight lead in shots during the first period, 11-9. In the second, however, Carolina outshot San Jose badly, 11-4. The Sharks power play had one shot on goal, and their penalty kill gave up one shot and had two short-handed shots. In the face-off circle, Carolina prevailed through the first two periods, winning 52% in the first and 74% in the second.

Rudolfs Balcers tied the game at 3:36 of the third period. Balcers was skating across in front of the net when Nicolas Meloche took a shot from the point. The puck went off of Jonathan Dahlen and right to Balcers for the shot. Assists went to Dahlen and Meloche.

Andrei Svechnikov scored the game winner at 16:16 of the third. Brett Pesce took a shot from the blue line that went into a snarl of traffic right in front of the net. When the puck bounced back out, Svechnikov was the only one who could get to it. Assists went to Pesce and Sebastian Aho.

The Sharks made a good push in the third, out-shooting Carolina 13-9 and improving in the face-off circle to 52%.

Mario Ferraro missed Sunday’s game due to a mouth injury sustained in Saturday’s tilt against the Panthers.

The Sharks will play in Tampa Bay against the Lightning on Tuesday at 4:00 PM PT.

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